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"An Inspector Calls" (apologies to J.B. Priestley)

09 Jan 2016

Miss Clare Marx, President of the Royal College of Surgeons

For the NHS this first working week of January will be remembered for the headlines of hospitals in crisis, patients on trolleys and cancelled operations. For my own Trust, we also looked at the prospect of 40 CQC inspectors visiting with a mixture of trepidation, anxiety and tempered enthusiasm!

They came, they saw, they gave feedback. They visited most areas of the hospital, spoke to an enormous number of staff, both individually and at some of the focus groups organised - the consultant focus group was attended by more than 80 consultants.  We provided 400 documents before and 180 further documents were requested during the visit. They will return in the next week or so for an unannounced visit. Is this sort of focus, effort and expense a good use of scarce resource?

This morning I read that Circle have withdrawn from running Hinchingbrooke Hospital and have made a very clear statement about their negative views of the outcome of their CQC visit.

In the last couple of years my hospital has transformed, as clinical leaders have been developed and empowered to make changes which improve the journeys for individual patients. There has been a noticeable enthusiasm and energy, and with that, increased resilience to challenging times. The announcement of this visit two months ago to coincide with probably the most challenging week of the year, galvanized the amazing staff to respond. They were determined to face the challenge, to show their pride and passion for the hospital and to give of their best, to buck the trend and deliver in this first week the right care, in the right place at the right time. The CQC will tell us where we can do better, they will challenge some aspects of what we do, but we have had the opportunity to show what we care about - our patients.

Thank you Team Ipswich.

Follow Miss Clare Marx, President, Royal College of Surgeons on twitter @ClareMarx

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